City passes on buying Harlem site that recently had deed restriction lifted

BRP Companies closed on the property in April
May 23, 2016 09:07AM

The city is backing away after making overtures to buy a Harlem site owned by BRP Companies where officials recently approved the lifting of a deed restriction.

The city’s School Construction Authority approached BRP about 4 weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal reported, but abruptly reversed itself last week.

The discussions come against the background of scrutiny by federal, state and local law enforcement officials of a deal to lift the deed restriction at 45 Rivington Street on the Lower East Side, that ultimately led to the property selling for $116 million to Slate Property Group, Adam America Real Estate and China Vanke, who planned to build luxury condos there.

BRP bought the Harlem site, at 841 St. Nicholas Avenue, for $3.1 million, closing in April. The seller, the Dance Theater of Harlem, paid the city $875,000 to lift a restriction on the property that limited it to nonprofit cultural use.

Before the city approached it, BRP said it was planning a 12-unit affordable rental building on the site. [WSJ]Ariel Stulberg